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Donna Murray, RN, BSN

Breastfeeding Blog

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The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Tuesday April 22, 2014

There are many advantages to breastfeeding. Your breast milk not only provides your baby with unmatched nutrition, but nursing is also a source of numerous health benefits for both you and your child. There are environmental and economic advantages to breastfeeding as well. Even your partner can benefit.

Read more: The Benefits of Breastfeeding

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Deciding To Have Another Baby

Thursday March 20, 2014

Family Breasteeding

Making the decision to try for another baby while you're still breastfeeding can be hard, especially if the child you're nursing is still young. You may feel torn between your desire to continue to nurse the child you have and wanting to get pregnant again. Well, depending on your situation, it may be possible to do both.

If your period has already returned, you can continue to nurse while you try for your next baby. If your period has not yet restarted, you may have to decrease the amount that you're breastfeeding to get your fertility to return, but you shouldn't have to stop breastfeeding altogether. Then, when you do conceive, you can talk to your doctor about breastfeeding while you're pregnant. You should be able to continue nursing as long as your pregnancy is not considered high risk.

The decision becomes a little more difficult if you have to undergo fertility treatments to conceive. Depending on the specific treatment that you need, you may have to wean your child.

Read more:  Breastfeeding, Fertility and Infertility

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Photo © Shalom Ormsby/Digital Vision/Getty Images

 

Are You Getting Enough Fluids?

Monday February 10, 2014

Photo © claire/Flickr

Women are often concerned about their diet while they're breastfeeding, but it's important to think about your fluid intake, too. If you aren't getting enough to drink,  you can still make breast milk, but you might end up dehydrated.

It can be hard for a busy mom to remember to get enough fluids during the day, so try to grab yourself a drink whenever you can. Take a bottle of water with you when you go out and keep a drink by your side when you breastfeed at home.  If you have a glass of water, milk or juice each time you nurse your child, you will be getting in your 8 to 12 glasses a day. That should be enough to keep you hydrated and meet your daily fluid needs.  Read more:  Breastfeeding and Fluid Intake

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Photo © claire/Flickr

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New Year's Resolutions For 2014

Monday January 13, 2014

Did you make a New Year's resolution? Many people like to start a new year by making some positive changes in their lives. Some of the common resolutions that people make center around getting healthier. If you are pregnant or nursing, what are some of the breastfeeding resolutions that you can make? Here are a few suggestions:

For more about resolutions, About.com's Stess expert Elizabeth Scott has gathered information from many of the About.com Health experts and compiled it into these three great articles:

About.com Health's Resolutions For A Healthy New Year

Top Resolutions For Getting And Staying Healthy, From About.com Health

Maintain Your New Year's Resolutions! Best Tips From About.com Health

As you make your resolutions, goals and plans for the new year, I wish you health, happiness and success in all that you do.  Happy New Year!

 

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Breastfeeding and Breast Surgery

Wednesday December 4, 2013

Many women of childbearing age undergo breast surgery. The ability to breastfeed after breast surgery depends on the type of surgery and how it is performed. Any surgery that interferes with the milk ducts or the amount of breast tissue in your breast will have a greater impact on breastfeeding.

Talk to your doctor and your baby's doctor if you have had breast surgery. While some women will be able to produce a healthy milk supply after surgery others may not. The pediatrician will monitor your baby's weight to be sure that he or she  is getting enough milk.

If you do have a limited supply you may need to use a formula supplement or donor breast milk, but you can still breastfeed. Any amount of breast milk that your baby receives from you will be beneficial.

 

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Partners In Breastfeeding

Friday November 1, 2013

Breastfeeding isn't just about mothers and babies. Partners and other family members are a very important part of the breastfeeding experience. A good support system can make all the difference in how successful a woman is at breastfeeding and how long she will continue to nurse.

Sometimes family members want to be supportive but they aren't sure what they can do. Partners often have some questions and concerns about breastfeeding, too. Here is some information for partners, family and friends:

 

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The Taste of Breast Milk

Tuesday October 15, 2013

Breast milk is usually considered to be sweet and pleasant tasting.  It is also flavored by the foods that you eat.  Most of the time, the flavors from your daily diet will not cause any problems.  Actually, by being exposed to different foods through your breast milk, your children may develop a preferences for certain types of foods and possibly even eat a healthier more varied diet when they are older.

However, there are some things that can alter the taste of your breast milk in a negative way. Some of these include:

The negative changes in the taste of breast milk from these situations are usually temporary and for some children they're not an issue at all. Other children are more sensitive and may go on nursing strike.

Read More:  The Flavor of Breast Milk

 

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Breastfeeding and Smoking

Wednesday September 11, 2013

There are many dangers associated with smoking that could put your health and the health of your child at risk. It would be best if you could stop smoking, but even if you can't quit you don't necessarily have to give up breastfeeding. Discuss your specific situation with your doctor.

The nicotine from cigarettes does pass through breast milk .  It can cause your baby to be irritable, have difficulty sleeping and have less of an appetite.  Smoking can also decrease your milk supply and affect your let-down reflex.

If you do smoke, try to limit the amount of cigarettes you have each day.  Smoke after breastfeeding your baby, and try to wait as long as possible after smoking before nursing again.  You should never smoke around your baby.  Second hand smoke is very dangerous and can lead to upper respiratory infections, ear infections and SIDS.

Read More: Breastfeeding and Smoking

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Photo © David McGlynn Getty Images

World Breastfeeding Week 2013

Thursday August 1, 2013

It's World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)! WBW is an annual event organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action to promote, support and encourage breastfeeding throughout the world. Over 170 countries will participate in this yearly celebration between August 1st and August 7th.

This year's theme "Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers" focuses on the importance of peer counselors. Peer counselors are people in the community who are trained to help and support nursing mothers get off to a good start with breastfeeding and continue to nurse for a longer period of time. Some of the goals this year's event are to showcase the benefits of peer counselors, increase the availability of programs to train counselors, and encourage others to get trained to become peer counselors.

For more information about this year's theme and objectives visit the WBW website.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week 2013!

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Herbal Nursing Teas and Milk Supply

Monday July 8, 2013

Many herbs are considered to be galactagogues, or substances that can help increase the supply of breast milk for nursing mothers. A common way to take these herbs is by drinking a nursing tea. Nursing teas can contain just one herb or different combinations of herbs. Fenugreek, blessed thistle and fennel are a few of the herbs that you will often find in a tea designed for breastfeeding mothers.

Read more: Nursing Teas

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